The Lahore Bar Association (LBA) has approached the chief justice of the Lahore High Court to push for the shifting of the parking stand around Aiwan-i-Adl because of security fears as well as traffic issues, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Hundreds of motorcycles and cars are parked around Aiwan-i-Adl, which houses the civil courts, every day without search.
The busy courts complex is visited by thousands of people daily. The parking area takes up several extra lanes on the Lower Mall during the day, while shopkeepers use the pavement as an extension of their shops. That often leaves just a lane and a half for traffic, meaning the road is often jammed.
LBA Secretary Asad Zaidi said that the bar had held a few meetings with Chief Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed to raise their members’ concerns about the parking area. He said that the high volume of pedestrian traffic through the parking area meant it could be targeted by terrorists.
“No doubt the parking stand poses a threat,” Zaidi said. He said that the bar had suggested to the chief justice that the parking area be moved to the yard at the Post Master General’s Office nearby.
“The chief justice assured us that the parking problem would be resolved as soon as possible,” he said.
“You can land an airplane here after the courts are closed, but during working hours it can be difficult for a pedestrian to walk past,” said Asif Chattha, a High Court advocate. “It would not be difficult for a terrorist to do a mission here.”
Shahid Mahmood, another High Court advocate, said that there was nothing lawyers could do about the situation as there was nowhere else to park. Muhammad Adil, a car driver, said that it was sad that an illegal parking area that took up a large segment of a public road had been set up around the courthouse. “I always get stuck in traffic jams here,” he said.
Traffic wardens deputed near Aiwan-i-Adl said that they worked really hard to maintain traffic flow on the road, but their efforts bore no fruit because the parking area created a bottleneck.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2012.
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